Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 155 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

In April 2011, closing a question for some reasons (then off-topic and not a real question) caused the Community user to downvote the question.

Officially, this feature was removed in August 2013. Yet I still observe that closing a question as off-topic, too broad or unclear instantly decreases a question's score by 1, and reopening increases the score by 1. I can't swear that this is systematic but I've definitely seen it happen many times.

Here's a recent example. The timeline shows that the question received two downvotes. But while it was closed as unclear, its score was -3, and since it was reopened its score is back at -2.

I'm tagging this because the site behavior contradicts the official documentation. I don't mean this as an opinion either way on whether automatic downvotes should or should not happen: just get the story straight, please.

share|improve this question
    
Had a quick experiment on a per site meta - reopening a post cleared before the change reversed the -1 from community but reclosing it with any of the close options did not change the vote score subsequently. Could be something sporadic though? – Rory Dec 20 '13 at 11:10
    
Through truth be told, I haven't seen this is Ask Ubuntu. – Braiam Jan 7 '14 at 23:19
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Closing a question no longer directly triggers an automatic down-vote on the question. However, closing a question can indirectly trigger a down-vote in one special circumstance: if there was an active Very Low Quality flag at the time the question was closed.

Although it's not particularly well-known, Very Low Quality flags have carried with them an automatic downvote for about two years now. This extra downvote - attributed to Community - is cast when the flag is marked helpful...

...And closing a question with an active VLQ flag marks the flag "helpful". Hence, the down-vote you've observed coinciding with the question being closed.

When a post is re-opened, all Community downvotes are removed. As Rory notes, re-closing such a question won't re-apply the VLQ downvote (unless, of course, another VLQ flag is active at that time).

share|improve this answer
    
Hmmm. Sounds like two more reasons to get rid of VLQ on questions: it's obscure, and it's debatable — is this question VLQ since the asker didn't put any effort into it, or is it not LVQ since it's perfectly answerable hence shouldn't be closed? – Gilles Jan 7 '14 at 23:29
3  
Eh; I kinda like this particular side-effect. For whatever reason, over half the folks flagging questions as VLQ don't downvote - as far as I'm concerned, this is a way of extracting signal from folks too misguided to click the right button. Regarding your example, it was VLQ because it was very poorly written; you edited it to improve that, at which point it wasn't anymore. – Shog9 Jan 7 '14 at 23:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .